Home > Anthropology > Seminars and events > Olivia Harris Memorial Event (2010)

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Olivia at a French cafe|

Olivia reading at a French café

Olivia Harry in La Paz|

Olivia and Harry Lubasz in La Paz

olivias fieldsite_188x128|

Muruq'umarka, north of Potosi, primary site of Olivia's ethnographic research in the early 1970s

Olivia in the field|

Olivia resting by the road on the way to Muruq'umarka

Olivia Harris Memorial Event (2010)

A celebration of the life of Olivia Harris


Friday 23 April 2010

Shaw Library, 6th floor Old Building, LSE





Coffee from 10 am (Seligman Library)

Morning session from 10.30 am

Video  Professor Deborah James|

Professor Thérèse Bouysse-Cassagne (CNRS, CREDAL, Paris) & Professor Tristan Platt (University of St Andrews, Anthropology)
Video Professor Thérèse Bouysse-Cassagne and Professor Tristan Platt|

Dr Sian Lazar (University of Cambridge, Anthropology)
Video Dr Sian Lazar|

Dr Henry Stobart (Royal Holloway, Music)
Video Dr Henry Stobart|

Professor James Dunkerley (Politics, Queen Mary)
Video Professor James Dunkerley|



(please make your own arrangements)


Afternoon session from 2.30 pm

Professors Marit Melhuus & Signe Howell (University of Oslo, Anthropology)
Video Professors Marit Melhuus and Signe Howell|

Professor Lyndal Roper (University of Oxford, History)
Video Professor Lyndal Roper|

Dr Nici Nelson (Goldsmiths, Anthropology)
Video Dr Nici Nelson|

Professor Maurice Bloch (LSE, Anthropology)
Video Professor Maurice Bloch|


You can also view Olivia's Tribute webpages here|.

You can view an interview with Olivia (July 2008) at http://elearning.lse.ac.uk/dart/interviews/harris.html |


Monday Night of Carnival|


A group of sirinu musicians and dancers from Cayanguera (Kalankira), Northern Potosi, Bolivia, early evening on the Monday night of Carnival, March 1996. The group travelled many miles across the countryside through the course of the night, visiting homesteads which had suffered deaths of adult men over the previous year. At each house the dancers were offered food and drink and then ritually despatched the deceased's soul with wayñu music and dance.

Olivia Sacaca|


Olivia, her hat decked in Dahlias and Gladioli, during the Feast of Candelaria in Sacaca, Northern Potosí, Bolivia (February 1987). We bumped into one another by chance during this feast, and both enjoyed a good deal of chicha (maize beer) and dancing. Olivia had been researching older men's reminiscences of the disastrous Chaco War (1932).



A group of pinkillu flute players performing in Sacani community cemetery, near Toracari, Northern Potosi, on the eve of the Feast of All Saints (31 October) 1986. In her article 'The Dead and the Devils among the Bolivian Laymi' Olivia wrote: "The initiation of the agricultural cycle is … marked by the 'socialisation' of the graveyard, which at other times is a place avoided with fear and repugnance. … Above all, All Saints initiates the time of wayñus, melodies played on wooden flutes, whose explicitly mournful tones pervade the whole season and attract rain".



A wayñu song sung by Antonia Quispia to the qunquta guitar accompaniment of Antonio Quispia in Sacani cemetery, near Toracari, Northern Potosi, on the eve of the Feast of All Saints (31 October) 1986. The song, in the Quechua language, humorously compares a youthful girl to the beautiful yellow sunchu flower and then the girl in later married life to firewood (for which sunchu is used in the winter months). "I used to know you, I used to love you, what has happened to you now!?" It was performed with immense energy and humour, filling the graveyard with laughter.

With many thanks to Henry Stobart for providing these photos and captions, as well as his contribution to the memorial event.